I’ve made a few updates to my Eastman Roadster bike. I got the thing in late November of last year, rode it once, and pretty much haven’t ridden it since. It was a single speed. The rod brakes were terrible, and made changing the wheel an enormous pain in the ass.
The frame has no provision for a dérailleur, and it doesn’t even have any way to put proper brakes on it. So, I had Hiawatha Cyclery build me a new rear wheel with a Sturmey Archer XL-RD5(W) hub. This means I now have 5 gears instead of one, and drum brakes in the hub.
I had the frame cold-set for 130mm in the back (it was 110mm from the factory). I tore off all the rod brake hardware, including the stem and handlebars. I had a dirt drop stem and some albatross bars laying around anyhow, and they seem to work out ok.
The clamp that came with the hub to hold the reaction arm in place was too small for the beefy chainstays, so I got a “Roadster Brake Clip” from Harris Cyclery, and that fits pretty nicely. You can see in the above picture how badly I boogered up the paint job trying to make the SA clip work.
I’m not sure if the full chaincase will still work with all the re-aligning of the back end. I’m too timid with the cottered cranks to find out for the moment.
Here she is in her current state.
I still have a few parts on order. I accidentally stripped the threads in the seatpost binder so the seat slips a lot when I ride her. I hope the new binder gets here by Monday night, because I’d like to ride her in the Bike Summit on Tuesday.
If Sturmey Archer ever gets their production issues sorted out, I’d like to get an XL-FDD for the front. I’m a little too scared to go down the big hill on my commute with only a rear brake, and my regal corpulence demands the 90mm brakes instead of the measly 70mm ones in the X-FDD.
With sealed drum brakes fore and aft, a totally sealed drivetrain, and dynamo lighting, this thing could easily be the ideal winter commute bike. Especially since it fits pretty big tires. I have a 37mm Pasela in the back now, and I’m sure I could get a 40mm Marathon Winter to fit.